Geelong surf-rockers Mundane Jane takes centre stage at Platform Arts alongside fresh local talent

Geelong surf-rockers Mundane Jane takes centre stage at Platform Arts alongside fresh local talent

Words by Brandon Davis

The event marks the band's first live performance since their formation last year.

Surf-rock quartet Mundane Jane are making their live music debut at Platform Arts on July 10th, with supporting acts Operation Karma, Paralla and GoodWood along for the ride as well. The all-ages event is delivering diverse, high-energy rock and roll sounds from across Geelong and the surf coast.

Situated on Little Malop Street in the heart of Geelong’s CBD, Platform Arts showcases some of the city’s best new artists and performers. The venue has been a prime spot for local musos to have their music heard, especially following the unfortunate closure of The Workers Club earlier this year.

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Lead vocalist Charlie McIlvenna spoke with us about the excitement of breaking into the live music scene, and what the future holds for Mundane Jane:

How long have you been playing music?

I’ve been playing music since like, 2018. I picked up a guitar after I heard a Pearl Jam song.  There was this guitar class at school where they’d give you an acoustic guitar for six months or so. I started with that and kept going!

Are Pearl Jam one of your biggest inspirations? Is there anyone else you look up to?

Oh yeah, 100%. They are the pinnacle of music. They’re the best! Other than that, The Smith Street Band and Wil Wagner, especially. The other boys are really into them. We’ve been to see them a couple times this year. They’re probably one of our biggest influences on the music that we play!

How long has the band been together?

We’ve been together for a bit over a year now, but we haven’t had the chance to play any shows. We got together between the two major lockdowns last year. That was the first time that we all got in a room and hung out together. But we just haven’t had the chance to get around and book gigs because we haven’t had heaps of material. It’s been pretty dry for all-ages music. Platform Arts is a really good venue, so I’m happy we’ve booked it.

We were supposed to play Wrangler in Footscray earlier this month, which, for kids our age, is a bit of a holy grail for all-ages shows. All of our favourite bands have come through there at some point. It’s going to be really cool to get up on a stage that groups like Skegss or Spacey Jane have been on!

So, will this be Mundane Jane’s first live performance?

Ed and I have done a couple of duo performances with some acoustic guitar and him playing lead over the top, but we haven’t got to play with a full audience and a full band until now. Luckily we were able to reschedule our Wrangler gig, so we’re looking forward to that as well.

Are you hoping to perform a lot more often in the future?

Definitely, we’re just trying to find more places that we can book. We’re trying to sort some stuff out across Geelong with a couple of other bands. Half the band is from Werribee, so a fair few people who know the band are from up around there – putting gigs on around this side of Melbourne wouldn’t be a terrible option!

It’s good that you’ve got that reach!

Exactly, it’s really handy in terms of reaching as many people as possible. But it is a pest for rehearsals!

How did you go about landing a gig at Platform Arts?

Me and Seth from Paralla were searching for places to play. We came across [Platform Arts], we emailed them, and they were awesome! It was really easy, they let us have a big look around and helped us out heaps. We’re really excited, it’s a really good space.

We’ve also been mutual friends with a bunch of members from each of the bands. I’ve met them at gigs around Geelong like Skegss and The Smith Street Band. A bunch of them are friends of friends, so when we get together, we have plenty in common!

It’s cool to see you’re headlining the night as well!

Yeah, it’s really cool we could set that up. One of the bands we were already big fans of, Operation Karma. They’re pretty established so it’s awesome to be able to play alongside them. We asked if they’d be interested in performing for an opening slot, and they were like “Yeah, sure!” We were like “Wait, really?” It was surprising, but it was so sick! It’s cool being able to build relationships with other bands around Geelong like that.

Lastly, you have some demos available on your Soundcloud, but do you guys have any plans to formally release any music?

100%! There’s a place that we rehearse at pretty consistently in Geelong called Pivot City Music. The owner Darren has been building a studio in there so that people can record music. He’s just finished it up, so we’re looking at getting in there pretty soon. It would be really good to learn how to mix and master everything ourselves, too!

You can catch Mundane Jane’s live debut on June 10th from 6pm-11pm. Tickets are available here!